Album Review: Cam’s ‘Untamed’

Cam's major label debut, Untamed, shines as brightly as she does. The singer-songwriter has worked tirelessly over the past five years to get her music heard and the 11 songs, all co-written by Cam, showcase her meticulous work.

Written by Annie Reuter
Album Review: Cam’s ‘Untamed’

Cam’s major label debut Untamed, out Dec. 11, shines as brightly as she does. The singer-songwriter, who is often spotted in yellow, has worked tirelessly over the past five years to get her music heard and the 11 songs, all co-written by Cam, showcase her meticulous work.

“There’s a lot of work involved in being an artist, and I’m so happy to do it,” Cam says. “But if I’m going to invest my time in the work part of it, the music just has to be me.”

Untamed shows every side of Cam. From the vulnerability in her Grammy-nominated single “Burning House” and the relatable “Half Broke Heart” to the rollicking “Runaway Train” and edgy “Want It All,” Untamed is versatility at its best. A blend of country, pop and soul, each track on the album takes the listener on a new journey.

“The cohesive part is me and my voice,” Cam explains. “The music stems from the same place, and it allows you to go in different directions with the content and the lyrics and the kind of vibe that’s going on in each song.”


The album begins with the sound of crickets and a train in the background on the title track and it is evident that the journey is about to start. Foot stomping rhythms follow as Cam’s voice enters and she sings about living in the moment and making memories in the backwoods. One of the more country leaning tracks on the album, “Untamed” shows Cam’s country background as she spent much of her childhood visiting her grandparents’ horse ranch in Oceanside, California.

While the fast-paced songs are sure to fit well into Cam’s upcoming tour with Brad Paisley, her more vulnerable moments like “Hungover On Heartache” and album closer “Village” leave the greatest impact. The latter is a poignant song to her friend from the perspective of Cam’s friend’s deceased brother so keep the tissues close.

Meanwhile, “Half Broke Heart” begins abruptly with piano before a R&B drumbeat takes over alongside banjo and pedal steel. Cam then offers her wisdom within the lyrics as she notes:

“A half truth’s still a lie / I need my space is still goodbye . . . I’ll be back soon is still gone / A half smoked cigarette’s still smoked / And a half broke heart’s still broke,” she sings on the chorus.

“Want It All” follows with a distinct pop flair that brings back the ’80s as Cam sings of living on her own terms. It’s an anthem for everyone, as is her note to fans in her album.

“Accept life and yourself as they are,” she writes. “When life hands you lemons — don’t you dare water it down and sweeten it up. You grab a straw and drink it straight. Then there is nothing left to fear, and you can be free.”

It’s these words from a woman who wrote each song on her album from the heart that stick. Between her sunny disposition and standout musicianship, Cam’s Untamed is just the beginning of her journey and we’re glad to be along for the ride.